The ongoing struggle, right?  You’ve got kids, the weather isn’t the greatest, but boy do they have some energy!  What to do?  That’s not too expensive??  Without spending forever in the car???  We’re here to help.  Today’s post will share all the fun things to do in Knoxville with kids - bookmark and share with your friends – stay out of the doldrums together!

Kids Paintings at Knoxville Museum of Art

Knoxville Museum of Art
Many people don’t think of museums when they think kid-friendly, but the Knoxville Museum of Art is the perfect place to take your littles.  For starters, it’s free (Yay!), and it’s the perfect size to spend some time and introduce your child to galleries without feeling overwhelmed.  Kids will love the Thorne Rooms and the giant glass and steel sculpture by Richard Jolley called “Cycle of Life”.  They have a kids creative corner with an oversized lite-brite, mesmerizing stomp pads (not really sure how to describe these, you’re just going to have to see them yourself), and beautiful grounds with sculptures to explore if they still have energy to burn.

Winter Tiger at Zoo Knoxville

Zoo Knoxville
Winter is the perfect time to go to the zoo!  Many animals LOVE the cooler weather, so it’s an ideal time of year to bundle up and enjoy our furry friends.  Read this post about what to expect at Zoo Knoxville during the winter season!

Kids Playing at Ijams Nature Center

Ijams Nature Center
Stick with the outdoors and find all kinds of fun at Ijams.  They host a variety of events for the 2-4 set, grade and middle schoolers, older kids 14 and up, and whole family activities for everyone to enjoy.  Examples of events have included “Nature Nuggets”, a hands-on program for toddlers to learn about plants (like feeling different kinds of bark).  Or for the older kids, they’ve hosted such programming like “Birds-N-Bagels” (bagels from Paysan – YUM!) to learn about birds of prey and hawk migration.

Girls at Women's Basketball Hall of Fame

Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame
The Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame (WBHOF) is another treasure right here in Knoxville – the only facility of its kind dedicated to the sport of women’s basketball.  Not only is this museum completely unique, you’ll have the chance to wear those kiddos out by a three-way court in the lower level.  Now that is a WIN!

Kids Painting at The Muse

The Muse
The Muse is always fun for the kiddos no matter what time of year, but can be a total lifesaver during the winter.  They have exhibits for all kinds of STEAM focused play for toddlers and up.  Even grandparents are welcome to get in on the fun!  Explore their planetarium for a variety of scheduled programs, or just drop in and burn off that energy. 

Knoxville Ice Bears Hockey

Knoxville Ice Bears
Grade school kids to teenagers will have a blast at a Knoxville Ice Bears game.  Their nights are generally themed, with particular dates in their schedule perfect for a younger crowd.  A sampling of upcoming themes:  January 23rd’s game is Disney Night, February 13 is Star Wars Night, and February 27 is the infamous Wiener Dog Races followed by March 7th’s Superhero Day (a Sunday 3pm game so the kiddos aren’t up too late).  Let’s Go Ice Bears!!

Kids Ice Skating at Ice Chalet

Cool Sports and Ice Chalet
Speaking of Ice, why not take the kids ice skating?  Knoxville has two options:  the Ice Chalet is in Bearden (just west of downtown) and Cool Sports is further west (Farragut area).  Both have open skate times, so grab some hot cocoa and glide to your heart’s content!

Girl Scouts

Girl Scout Museum at Daisy’s Place 
And yet another free option for your little gal!  Enjoy hands-on exhibits and Girl Scout memorabilia at this museum in West Knoxville.  There’s even a doll that has been in the Smithsonian Museums in Washington DC.  Don’t forget to purchase a patch to commemorate your experience!

Knoxville Mural
Those Crazy Nelsons at the Greetings from Knoxville Mural

Mural Tour
Kids of all ages will love Knoxville’s downtown mural tour.  The younger ones can pose; get creative and have them make funny faces, jump in the air and take a shot, or let them surprise you!  The older ones will be too cool for school but you know they’ll secretly be more than happy to post their mural finds on Instagram – or Snapchat, TikTok, or whatever the kids are using these days!

As you can see there’s LOTS to do in Knoxville with the kiddos this winter.  For more free ideas, check out this blog post on just that – and enjoy our city in all the seasons!